Senator Kamala Harris has been picked by Joe Biden to be his running mate. It’s not much of a surprise, really, though the weakness of the choice will soon be made clear.
Aside from the fact that Harris all but accused Joe Biden of being a racist for his past willingness to work with segregationists to oppose busing, Harris is also on record saying that she believes the women who accused the former vice president of inappropriate touching.
“I believe them and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it,” Harris said during a presidential campaign event in Nevada in April 2019 before Biden had officially entered the race.
During the 2008 election cycle, Ally Coll was helping run a reception for about 50 people. After Biden arrived she was introduced to him, and, according to Coll, Biden “leaned in, squeezed her shoulders and delivered a compliment about her smile, holding her ‘for a beat too long.’”
“There’s been a lack of understanding about the way that power can turn something that might seem innocuous into something that can make somebody feel uncomfortable,” said Coll.
The next accuser is Amy Lappos, a Democratic political activist who claimed that during a 2009 political fundraiser in Greenwich, Conn., for U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, then-Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told the Hartford Courant last year. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.”
“I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody,” Lappos explained. “There’s absolutely a line of decency. There’s a line of respect. Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It’s not cultural. It’s not affection. It’s sexism or misogyny.”
Biden has also been accused by two sexual assault survivors of inappropriate touching.
Four years ago, at the age of 19, Caitlyn Caruso, a survivor of sexual assault, spoke at an event on sexual assault at the University of Las Vegas, which Joe Biden was also attending. Caruso says that after sharing her sexual assault experience, Biden “rested his hand on her thigh — even as she squirmed in her seat to show her discomfort—and hugged her ‘just a little bit too long.’”
“It doesn’t even really cross your mind that such a person would dare perpetuate harm like that,” she said. “These are supposed to be people you can trust.”
In 2016, Sofie Karasek was one of 50 sexual assault survivors who appeared on stage with Lady Gaga at the Oscars. After the ceremony, Karasek shared with Biden a story about a college student who committed suicide after being sexually assaulted, and Biden, according to the Washington Post, “responded by clasping her hands and leaning down to place his forehead against hers.” She says it felt awkward and uncomfortable having their faces mere inches apart and she didn’t know how to respond to it, but she described it as Biden “crossing the boundary into her personal space at a sensitive moment.”
The next accuser is D.J. Hill, whom met Biden at a 2012 fundraiser in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During a photo-op with Biden, he put his hand on her shoulder and starting lowering it down her back, making her feel “very uncomfortable.” Hill’s husband noticed Biden’s maneuver and protected his wife by putting his own hand on Biden’s shoulder and telling a joke. Ms. Hill didn’t say anything at the time and doesn’t know what his intent was, or if he was aware of her discomfort.
A former White House intern named Vail Kohnert-Yount also came forward last year, and she claims that in the spring of 2013, while trying to exit the basement of the West Wing, she was asked to step aside to allow for Joe Biden to enter. After moving out of the way, Biden approached her to shake her hand and introduce himself. During this encounter, she says Biden “put his hand on the back of my head and pressed his forehead to my forehead,” and called her “a pretty girl.” She says she was shocked by the incident, describing it as “the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace.”
Former Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores claims that Joe Biden touched her inappropriately and kissed her on the head during a 2014 campaign rally.
“Just before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction. As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. Why is the vice president of the United States touching me?”
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice president of the United States is smelling it.’ And also, ‘what in the actual fu—? Why is the vice president of the United States smelling my hair?’ He proceeded to plant a big, slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
Flores said she “wanted nothing more” than to get Biden away from her. When her name was called, she says she was “never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.”
And then there’s Tara Reade, in 2019, she said that Biden used to touch her inappropriately while she was a staffer in his Senate office in 1993. “He used to put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck,” Reade said. “I would just kind of freeze and wait for him to stop doing that.” She later expanded on those allegations, claiming in March 2020 that Biden sexually assaulted her by pushing her up against the wall, kissing her and sliding his hand up her shirt and up her skirt. Reade says attempted to file a claim, but Biden was ultimately protected by loyalists on his staff. The credibility of her claims was boosted by the release of a clip of the Larry King Live show during which her mother called in anonymously asking the panel for advice on how to handle a situation with her daughter and a prominent U.S. senator. Kamala Harris may have believed Tara Reade before Joe Biden jumped in the race, but when Biden was the frontrunner and then presumptive nominee, she ignored Reade’s sexual assault allegations when they resurfaced in 2020.
Kamala Harris said she believes these women.
Kamala Harris has agreed to be the running mate of a man whom she believes repeatedly touched women inappropriately and even sexually assaulted.
According to Tara Reade, after once being believed by Harris, her attempts to reach out to Harris about the alleged assault were ignored. “Kamala Harris is my representative and I reached out to her for help. No response. Joe Biden sexually assaulted and harassed me. All the rest of political discussion is noise and an effort to distract from the serious lack of justice I experienced at his hands,” she told Fox News. “Coming forward has been difficult and resulted in 1993 with the loss of my job and career. Coming forward last spring, 2019, about the sexual harassment, resulted in his supporters smearing me online.”
Kamala Harris believed Tara Reade before she needed to Joe Biden to further her own political career.
Biden-Harris 2020, indeed.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis